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China to integrate student health education and all-around development

Updated: Sep 05,2021 06:53

Top Chinese authorities suggested on Sept 3 the integration of students' health education and all-around developments of moral, intellectual, physical, aesthetics and labor education.

According to the joint circular issued on the Ministry of Education's website, China must make maintaining the health of its youth the number one priority, as well as be responsible to every single student primarily through prevention, intervention, and problem-oriented principles.

The circular calls for the establishment of a comprehensive education, service, and management process that is both from the people and for the people.

In order to construct a powerful nation in education and meet the criteria of a healthy China, all schools should achieve basic modernization in areas such as public sanitation, physical education devices, and health awareness by 2035, it said.

The health knowledge, methods, views, awareness, and self-regulation capabilities of students should be one of the primary focus, said the circular, adding that starting from elementary schools, China aims to foster green, healthy, and civilized school culture on a national scale.

Schools and experts must assume primary responsibility to implement mandatory and elective health courses in both lower and higher education. At least 4 credits of physical and healthy education courses per semester should be given to all elementary and middle school students, it said.

In addition, at least 20 minutes of physical exercises should be given to elementary and middle school students before the first class, the circular said, demanding one hour of PE activities should be ensured for students both during and off school times every workday.

The circular also suggested measures to improve students' mental health and pressure coping skills and enhance the education and training of students in recognizing the value of life, establishing self-esteem, and maintain positivity.

The series of promotions are implemented primarily due to parental and schools' concern of minors' health in China. In 2019, the Ministry of Education stated that the national rate of passing standard physical examination with a positive result among students aged 6 to 22 was only 23.8 percent.

While the rate was higher than previous, the rate for students in higher education did not change at all. Problems such as nearsightedness and obesity are still serious concerns among many students and calls for better government interventions and policies.